What is SEO?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been around since the 1990s, helping websites to earn traffic through keyword manipulation. It’s not a marketing service, but rather a skill that many businesses are having to adapt to in order to be visible to prospective clients and followers.
SEO is a strategy to improve unpaid results, or organic traffic of new visitors. The main technique of using SEO to advantage is creating content based on the understanding of how search engines like Google and Bing are used. Most of the time, users of search engines type very simple phrases to find the content that they are looking for. Incorporating these terms numerous times, and key terms that are relative, ensure that the search engine matches an article to the user’s primary request
For example: Best brunch in Richmond
A local café in Richmond would ideally need to include this copy directly on their website for it to be included in the top suggestions of Google. Better yet, if it was mentioned several times or in fragments of that phrase, the mathematical algorithm would pick this site out of others for the user’s search request.
In terms of fragments, we mean examples such as best brunch or brunch in Richmond. If a search request was longer, then there would be more fragments. These can be dotted on each navigation of a website to boost a website’s chance of being featured.
The world of SEO is pretty fascinating once you start researching for yourself. Even using Google to look up SEO brings up numerous SEO services and businesses before reaching sites that offer definitions or explanations about it. It’s a good thing they know their own service as it clearly works!
Here are our best practice points for SEO which can help you get started, or to get better at it:
1. 75% of results clicks go to the first five articles
How often have you gone onto the second or third page of Google? Often someone using a search engine will clarify the words used in the search rather than head to page two or three. It’s widely known that the first page of Google is more often than not the most reliable data, so creating those key phrases to get on the first page is vital. Think about how you search on Google and go from there.
2. Page titles are as important as the content
While the content is what a searcher is after, you should be building content around a title. The key words in a title will be highlighted by the algorithm better if they are used in a title, and then mentioned again throughout the article or webpage. Clicks = likes when using SEO. If Google gathers data that your site was heavily “liked”, then your ranking on the search results ladder will increase. You should also be figuring out what your client is after with their search. Think about how you would type in a search for what you want, and it should fall into one of the below. The three categories are:
INFORMATIONAL: searching for information: Where is the safest place to stay in New York?
NAVIGATIONAL: searching for a specific website for a company or service: McDonalds
TRANSACTIONAL: searching for making a purchase: offers on iPhone X
3. Get specific with your meta description
When a link appears on Google, a preview of the paragraph with the key search term appears underneath the link. This is your meta description and you only have 155 characters to use. Thinking about the first two points, the meta description needs to be specific and concise to have chance of drawing in traffic. If you go with title + content, write a snappy opening paragraph that reiterates the title and makes a clear point about the content. While repetition can seem tedious—you don’t want to overdo it— making a quick point will earn you reader respect and search engine credit.
4. Be wary of SERPs features
Search engine results pages (SERPs) are the answers to a Google search, with ten links per page. However, new snippets and features have emerged over the years to make some SEO tactics a little tougher. For example, typing in Weather in Melbourne will bring up a snippet box above all of the links showing the current temperature. If this is all the information that a user requires, they will look no further and not click on any of the links below. This is the same for word definitions. Another addition is the People Also Ask options so a user can further specify a new search term without needing to see the next page. Considering these added features (to which we can be certain there will eventually be more) helps your SEO significantly.
5. Offer a good user experience
Slow loading times? Lag when bringing up images? This all has an effect on whether someone will stay on your website to find the information that they’re after. If your homepage simply does not load, then the back button will be hit, and another site will be found instead. Same goes for navigating the site and a user being able to find the information. Peppering the keywords recklessly and forcing a user to hunt down the information may lead to impatience and leaving the site.
6. Be inclusive using alt text
Using alternative text for images can further improve SEO, imbedding more of the same key phrases into your metadata. It is also helpful for those with vision impairment to better understand the content that they are viewing with a helpful caption. A huge win/win, don’t you think?
7. Follow up on the initial search
Ultimately, SEO is for enhancing your business reach, so make it welcoming and clear that you can help the user. Provide the information they require and offer to help further. Many businesses use online forms for enquiries. Open up and let the prospective client contact you directly, find you on social media or get an address to come and visit you. Being closed off and only offering one step of the process may be a waste of your efforts using SEO.
SEO is not a new strategy for business, but it is super important for traffic. Perhaps you can find some examples of SEO usage throughout this article? Once you’re on your way, it can be done quite easily and subtly. Do your research, and online users will do theirs with you.